Saturday, July 20, 2019: Thomas the Righteous of Malea; Kyriake the Great Martyr; Akakios of Sinai; Willibald, Bishop of Eichstatt.
The Wedding of Eric Bowser and Savannah Albrecht
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Madison WI
Epistle: Ephesians 5:20‑33
Gospel: John 2:1-11
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Eric and Savannah,
The prayers of the Church are clear. Marriage plays an essential role in the great sweep of salvation history. As part of the work of redemption, in every generation, God has called men and women to marry. Today, you join that great assembly of married couples like Abraham and Sarah, like Isaac and Rebecca, like Joachim and Anna, like Joseph and the Virgin Mary, who by their love and fidelity to God and each other prepared the way for the coming of Jesus.
But this isn’t all.
All this, and more, God has done out of His great love for you.
Thinking about all this can be overwhelming. This why some couples simply drift through marriage. To avoid this, how then should you live what St Paul calls this “great mystery” of marriage?
For this, as in all things, we need to look to the first and greatest disciple of Jesus, His Mother the Most Blessed and Ever-Virgin Mary.
St John tells us that when they ran out of wine at the Wedding in Cana, Mary intercedes with her Son. She does this not for the pleasure of the guests but for the sake of the wedding couple. She speaks to her Son to spare them the embarrassment of being thought to be inconsiderate hosts.
While Jesus’ response might seem harsh–“O woman, what have you to do with me?”–in saying this He reveals the depth of His Mother’s faith and her commitment to care for not just one couple but all married couples.
Mary doesn’t argue with her Son. She certainly doesn’t contradict Him or chastise Him. Instead, she does what mothers do. Mary does what is necessary.
She tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” She tells the servants–and so each of us–to listen to Jesus.
As you start your life together as husband and wife, listen to Jesus.
When the inevitable disagreements arise, listen to Jesus. Listen because your disagreements aren’t a question who is right–and let me tell you now, you’re both wrong–but an invitation to discern God’s will for you.
When trials come, listen to Jesus.
When successes come, listen to Jesus.
When your children are born and you struggle to raise them in the Lord, listen to Jesus.
Throughout all your life together, listen to Jesus. Pray both in private and as a couple opening your hearts so that you can hear the voice of Jesus.
Above all, listen to Jesus because, as much as you love each other, He loves you more. No one loves you more than Jesus.
The love your friends have for you, the love your parents have for you, and the love you have for each other, all of this love is His gift to you. Our love for you, as sincere, deep and unwavering as it is, is only a reflection of Jesus’ love for you.
So listen to Jesus.
Yes, listen to Jesus. Words that are so challenging but also so comforting.